Common magpie, or European magpie, is a resident breeding bird that belongs to the family of crows and jays. Its head, neck and breast are glossy black in color, with a metallic green and violet sheen. The wings too are black glossed with green or purple. However, the belly and scapulars (shoulder feathers) are pure white. The black tail is graduated and shot with bronze-green and other iridescent colors. The bird is mainly found in open country or slightly wooded areas, parks and cemeteries. There are numerous subspecies of the common magpie. Read on further to know more interesting facts and amazing information on this bird species.
Facts About Common Magpie
Species: P. pica
Group Name: Parliament
Length: 40-51 cm
Weight: 200-250 g
Lifespan: 8-15 years
Habitat: Open woodland, grasslands and savannas.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 3 years
Gestation Period: 24 days
Number of Offspring: 5-8 eggs
Interesting & Amazing Information On Common Magpies
- Common magpie is spread all across Europe, much of Asia and the northwest Africa.
- The bird builds a dome-shaped nest piled with sticks that are fixed with mud. It lays a good amount of grass in the nest, to make it comfortable.
- Though the common magpie is around 50 cm in length, half of its size comprises of the tail.
- Just like other corvids, such as crows, common magpies too can hop quickly sideways, with their wings slightly opened.
- Common magpies feed on any animal food, such as young birds, small reptiles, eggs, insects, scraps, carrion, acorns, fruits, nuts, grains and other vegetable substances.
- They comprise of the only non-mammal and one of the few bird species that can recognize itself in a mirror.
- Common magpie pairs are monogamous and stay together for the entire duration of their lives. In case any one of the two dies, the widow or widower looks for a new partner from the stock of yearlings.
- The bird is considered as a symbol of good luck and good fortune in China and Korea.
- It is known for taking and stashing shiny objects. It is attracted to ladies jewelry, plastics and even windscreen wipers from cars, which it collects in its nest.
- To protect themselves from predators such as foxes, cats and coyotes, common magpies hide in trees and thick bushes.
- Although both male and female magpies look almost alike, the cock has a longer tail.